How to Practice Presence
Do you find it hard to focus in your daily life?
It can be difficult to be “in the moment” when you have a full schedule or other things are on your mind. There are so many things that can become a distraction - technology, television, people, and often our own thoughts.
Benefits of Living in the Present
Whether it’s fully hearing what someone is saying or noticing the sights and sounds around you, practicing presence has many benefits. It can boost your memory, increase your focus, reduce stress, improve your emotional fitness, and more. And most of all, learning how to be present can help you live with passion and purpose.
Being present in your life isn’t just important for you. It’s also important for all your relationships. Friends and family will feel heard and valued and emotional connections occur when people take the time to stop what they’re doing and really listen to each other. You will enjoy whatever activity you are doing if you are able to be present. By being an active participant in your life, you’ll feel a deeper connection to those around you!
The first time I really understood the impact of presence on others was when I met a friend for lunch and ended up eating my meal in silence as my friend spent the majority of the time staring at her new phone. I left feeling unseen and definitely unheard.
But it did get me thinking about what it really means to be present and to evaluate my own behaviors. I found that I, too, am guilty of not always paying attention to the moment. There are many moments we can focus on - from interactions with others to observing and being aware of the sights and sounds around us.
Tips for Living in the Present
Here are a few tips that help me stay present when interacting with others.
Focus on what is being said. Be aware of any wandering thoughts and bring yourself back when you catch yourself drifting
Eliminate multitasking while listening. No phones, people watching, chores, etc.
Engage in the conversation by asking questions and showing interest
Maintain eye contact
Remind yourself of the value the moment - you won’t have it again!
Dedicated to Dr. Walter Enloe who was a master at presence. You will be missed.